My daughter does not technically start year 8 until September but with the whole lockdown going on she wanted more history resources to read and actually kept asking me for the next History book by Aaron Wilkes (we have been using the first book in a three book series written by Aaron Wilkes for KS3 ages and she LOVES it). The Second book in this series is KS3 History 4th Edition: Revolution, Industry and Empire: Britain 1558-1901 Student Book.
Quick background – last year I was not sure which books to use with my daughter (secondary resources were all new to me at that stage) so we started with some Collins History Books – which were good but they were just not detailed enough for her so after about a month we switched to the Oxford book (KS3 History 4th Edition: Invasion, Plague and Murder: Britain 1066-1558 Student Book) – which was a total win – it had more detail, lots of questions, lots of using source material and thinking about events for yourself – just a complete win all around. So there was no doubt that we would continue with the Oxford Books again for Year 8. Which means, for us, getting the Year 8 History book a bit early just seemed like a logical step.
So why is it that we LOVE this book so much (and I do mean LOVE because out of all the Year 7 resources we have used over the past 9 months this History series has been the one that was really stood out).
The detail – they include lots of information but it is the way they present the information that I think is key. It is not written in long boring paragraphs. The page is broken up into smaller sections and they use illustrations (sometimes cartoon like strips), they used boxes for key points, pictures, small bits of source documents – a wide variery of ways to explain what happened – which actually keeps it’s really interesting and helps to engage the kids. My youngest who is nine-years old (would be Year 4 if he attended school) does not actually like History like his older sister but he actually sits and goes through these books with us because he even says the way they present the information is interesting.
At the end of each double page they include some questions which the kids can go through to check they understand what they have read. Which is really handy and is a quick way of reinforcing key points. Then at the end of each chapter they include longer questions – these questions are broken down into three sections – a basic set of summary questions about the chapter, literacy focus questions and then History skills questions.
And I must admit these end of chapters questions are amazing. I love these sections. Love It. The type of questions they ask and the way they help the kid’s breakdown the answers and help them structure it. The entire end of chapter question section is just spot on. It really builds the kids answering and writing ability up, step-by-step. For me, as a home-educator, these end of the chapter questions and the way they set them out is the best part about these books.
So what does this 2nd Book cover? It is Britain between 1558 and 1901.
The chapter topics are as follows
- Queen Elizabeth – an in-depth study – we loved the in-depth study included in the first book so I love that they have included another in this book and that it is about Queen Elizabeth.
- Life in Tudor Times – includes things like Tudor schools and crime and punishment.
- Exit of the Tudors and enter the Stuarts.
- Civil War to Commonwealth
- Restoration of the Merry Monarch
- Exit the Stuarts enter the Georgrians
- Industrial Revolutions
- Terrible Towns
- Slave Trade
- Britain vs France
- India – a British Empire case study – another in-depth study – again thrilled to see this included.
- From Tudor to Victorian Britain what changed?
We have only just received this book but both my daughter and I have already paged through it and read sections and already we are confident that it is going to be as much a success as the first one.
With both of these books my daughter actually reads them cover to cover herself (well she is about half way through this one). And then we also go through it slowly, page by page together chatting about concepts and often trying to link in documentaries and other things when possible. We like including things like documentaries and other books because she enjoys History and finds it fascinating but I honestly believe you could also just use this book by itself without adding in the extra stuff because they do cover everything in so much detail.
Also I want to mention that the answers to the questions are no included in these books. Oxford produces Teacher books for each student book which contains extra ideas and the answers to all the questions. We did not use the teacher book with her Year 7 book and we managed fine. No problem. But I am going to buy the teachers book for this one. Why the change? Really it is personal thing. More and more my daughter is indicating that she might want to end up working in a History field of some sort (she is not sure what area yet) so I do think getting the teacher’s guide will help me guide her more. But it is a personal preference. If this was my son, I am not so sure I would buy the Teachers guide.
Oxford University Press have given us our copy of this book so we could use it as part of our home education. I actually asked if we could review it because my daughter and I were so impressed with the first book.
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For those of you interested the three History books in this series are